Saturday, February 23, 2013

Creamy sweet potato soup

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, right? And when you have bare cupboards (and an almost-empty refrigerator) you have to invent some new recipes. The weather has been so winter-like in OKC, I needed soup last night. And I had just enough pantry staples to pull off something Paleo. And, most shocking of all, it actually turned out to be great. Here's what I came up with.

Creamy sweet potato soup
Serves 2-4 people, depending on portion size

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 red onion, chopped
3 chicken breast tenderloins (or you can use 2 chicken breasts)
1/2 sweet potato, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 avocado
1/2 lime

1. Melt the coconut oil over a low heat in a medium sized soup pot. Meanwhile, mix all the dry spices together and set aside.
2. Saute the onion until they begin to sweat, and then add about a third of the spices. Mix well.
3. After the onions are translucent, add chicken and cook thoroughly. Once cooked, shred with two forks.
4. Add the sweet potatoes and saute for about a minute. Add the remaining spice mix.
5. Pour in the tomatoes, the the coconut milk and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Let soup simmer for 15-20 minutes and then ladle into bowls. Squeeze fresh lime juice over each portion and garnish with avocado.

I really liked this recipe. It was easy, filling, and the slight coconut flavor paired with the fresh lime juice was yummy. I also think that a little cheddar cheese would taste fantastic with this!  If you make it, let me know what you think!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Valentine's Day escapades

I was totally overwhelmed with love and chocolate this Valentine's Day. I've always loved this special day--making funny notes to send to friends, baking sweet treats to share with others. And now that I work downtown and park at Main Street Parking Garage downtown, they make every holiday a little more awesome by giving out cookies and having live music. But this year was even more special because I got to celebrate with Daniel (sorry so sappy).

My Valentine's Day prep started the night before when Daniel and I made these to take to our offices the next day. (Yeah, they are totally not Paleo. I knew that I couldn't withstand the temptation so I had a few built-in cheat days.) And then I finally got to use my old school label maker to finish up my gifts.

And I found the cutest valentines to give to my coworkers this year. ( LOVE. I only printed the appropriate ones.

And then I got a few surprises of my own from Daniel and my parents!

Besides the roses, Daniel got me a huge box of K-cups for my Keurig (because I am totally obsessed with it) and I got him a little scrapbook (a work in progress) and a few seasons of Southland on DVD.

Daniel and I went to Blu for their Valentine's Day meal. It's one of Daniel's very favorite restaurants, and we love going to Norman since we both lived there at the same time but didn't know each other yet. It gives both of us a chance to revisit our favorite haunts. Blu was so amazing, but I completely forgot to take pictures while we were there. Here are a few of us from that night.

It was such a happy day! By far one of the best Feb. 14 in my personal history.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

weekend happenings

Weekends are such a wonderful invention. (for some reason, all I can hear in my head right now is the dowager countess of Grantham saying "what is a week end?")

Last weekend I got to go home to Idabel for pageant weekend. Yes, I love pageants. Not the toddlers and tiaras kind, but the Miss America kind. And it was just a lovely, relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of OKC. Because sometimes I just need to be in the country where you can hear crickets and see stars. The only way it could have been better is if Daniel had tagged along, but since two separate pageants were involved, I can't blame him for not tagging along.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Stop planning, start doing

I think this poster could be entitled "10 Ways to Be Happier" and it would be just as accurate for me.